All forms of generation have different characteristics. Some are better, some are worse in specific circumstances, which is part of the reason why we need more than one form of generation.
Wind generation has strengths in a few places that make it a valuable part of the mixture.
- It’s the lowest CO2e emissions form of new generation we can build today, and it’s getting better. It’s running around 8 grams CO2-equivalent per kWh, which is well under both nuclear and solar, which are themselves well under gas and coal.
- It just doesn’t take up that much space. When intermingled with farmland, it takes about 1% of the land it spreads over for wind turbine bases, access roads and the like. Solar doesn’t interoperate with agriculture quite as well.
- They can be built offshore and work even better there. While there are many types of energy that people have attempted to harness from the ocean, the only one that’s consistently viable and reliable at present is wind generation.
- Wind generation is the cheapest form of new electrical generation of any type that we can build right now and it is estimated to go down further.
- Wind generation is somewhat counter-cyclical to solar and hydro. Hydro resources tend to be strongest in the spring. Solar resources are strongest in the summer, and obviously only during daylight hours. Wind generation works overnight, works somewhat better in winter due to denser air and has different seasonal lulls (varying by geography) than hydro or solar. That makes it advantageous as part of the mix.
Reference- Quora ( Michael Barnard, Low-carbon Innovation Strategist) , Lazard website